Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stopping Iran's Nuclear Program, Wed. Dec. 1st

Not long ago I was having a discussion with a close friend about what can be done to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. None of the alternatives were very promising. The most obvious is for Israel to launch an air attack and bomb the sites. This even appeared to be what was developing when it was leaked that Saudi Arabia had given unofficial permission for Israel to fly over their territory if necessary and the UAE Ambassador publicly supported the idea of an air strike. It looked even more likely this week when they disclosed that the US might be supplying as many as 35 stealth fighters to Israel as a price for putting a moratorium on new construction on the West Bank.

There are two major problems with that general plan. First is striking all of their sites. There is a very real possibility that there may be more than the 17 or so involved in the Iranian nuclear program –they have been fairly good at keeping some of these secret until recently. What is to say there isn’t one or two more out there that we have not discovered yet?

The second major reason is the outcome. Iran has been very aggressive already. If they are attacked they are in a good position to raise hell in Jordan, Lebanon and Gaza. They can increase their support of Al Qaeda and the Taliban (remember Iran borders Afghanistan) and cause trouble in Iraq. They already have networks in place to do all of these things. Most importantly, they can disrupt a major portion of the world oil supply. Not only are they a major producer, they also sit on the Persian Gulf and can easily close that down – or at least raise havoc there. A disruption of the world oil supply while the Western economies are so fragile could be exceptionally devastating.

--And all of that is without even discussing their ability to take direct military action in retaliation!

See what I mean? Not a pretty picture. So, what can be done? One thing we discussed, kind of off handedly, was disrupting the program by targeted sabotage and even by eliminating their nuclear scientists. After all, Iran has only a limited number of scientists capable making nuclear bombs and it takes years of study to produce one. Taking out a handful would slow them down considerably.

I decided to do some research and began discovering that my suggestions may not be necessary. It seems that Iran has been having a steady stream of bad luck with it’s equipment, which it blames on CIA and Mossad sabatoge. They have not been having much luck with their scientists either. Over the past 5 years several have disappeared, some turning up seeking asylum in the West, and several have died in accidents or have been assassinated. Just this week if found an article about one such incident on Fox News:

"Assailants on motorcycles attached bombs to the cars of two nuclear scientists as they were driving to work in Tehran Monday, killing one and seriously wounding the other, state television reported.
The report did not say whether the two university teachers were directly involved in the country's highly controversial nuclear program.
State TV swiftly blamed Israel for the attacks. At least two other Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in recent years in what Iran has alleged is part of a covert attempt by the West to damage its nuclear program. One of those two was killed in an attack similar to those on Monday.
The assailants, who escaped, drove by their targets on motorcycles and attached the bombs as the cars were moving. They exploded shortly thereafter, the state TV report said.
The attacks bore close similarities to another in January that killed Tehran University professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a senior physics professor. He was killed when a bomb-rigged motorcycle exploded near his car as he was about to leave for work.
In 2007, state TV reported that nuclear scientist, Ardeshir Hosseinpour, died from gas poisoning. A one-week delay in the reporting of his death prompted speculation about the cause, including that Israel's Mossad spy agency was to blame."

It seems great minds work along the same lines after all….. forgive me, I couldn’t resist. But the point is that this may very well be evidence of a covert operation, probably a joint effort by the CIA and the Mossad (and very likely one or more European agencies as well). This kind of operation can not stop the Iranians but it could slow them down long enough for the sanctions to really take effect and possibly even influence a regime change in Tehran.

Live Long and Prosper....

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